Get your binoculars packed and a boat ticket lined up because it’s whale season!
For those of us lucky enough to visit Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast. The next few months (from August through October) are prime time for spotting Arctic-based humpback whales.
These graceful mammals can weigh as much as 50 tons. They are as nimble as a middle-aged cat, migrate from as far as Australia toward Central America during the southern hemisphere winter to mate and calve.
Humpback whales live an average lifespan of 40 years. Adults can grow upwards of 50 feet in length. During mating season – when they’re in southern waters – these adult humpbacks don’t eat, instead of living off massive supplies of blubber. The newborns, meanwhile, feed on their mother’s bubbles of milk during mating season.
The Osa Peninsula and Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita are two of the most popular destinations for whale watching tours in southern Costa Rica.
At these locations, female humpbacks use shallow, warm waters to birth. They feed their young while males remain in the deeper water looking to procreate. Male humpbacks are known for crafting varied and complex songs. These songs combine a mixture of grunts, groans, moans and just about anything else that qualifies as a mating call. These songs can last, on average, 10 to 20 minutes. Females, however, do not sing – at least not when any researcher has ever been listening.
At Bahia Ballena Marine National Park, sea life is incredibly abundant. In addition to dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, sailfish and manta rays, it’s common to spot orcas, pseudo orcas, pilot, beaked, sei or Bryde’s whales during peak season.
There are daily whale-watching tours that leave from Uvita, which is located 15 minutes south of Dominical. If you have an upcoming vacation planned at one of our Dominical luxury rentals, we can assist you in booking any of these amazing tours free of charge. Simply email for more information.
And don’t worry, because if you miss out on Costa Rica’s winter season whale-watching tours, you can always catch a glimpse of northern hemisphere humpbacks when they come through town from December until March. As you can probably tell by now, the fun never stops in southwest Costa Rica!